The Gospel Today
Monday of the Third Week of Easter
[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.]
The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea
saw that there had been only one boat there,
and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat,
but only his disciples had left.
Other boats came from Tiberias
near the place where they had eaten the bread
when the Lord gave thanks.
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me
not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
Reflection (Sem. Alfredo Dimaano, Jr.):
Food has always been part of the Filipino culture especially whenever there are celebrations. The same is true with the Jewish tradition. I believe that it is not so much about what is served but the company that is with us be it family or friends that make it meaningful.
Today, Jesus invites us to work for the food that never perish but for the one that leads us to everlasting life. The food that the world offers can only satisfy our hunger for a short period of time but what He is offering is the food that fills our very being: He Himself. The song “Dapit-Hapon” captures it as it says, “Ang tanging Kanyang hain ay sarili Niyang buhay”.
Just this weekend, during our community adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, it came to me a realization. As the acolyte carefully places the consecrated bread (host) inside the monstrance, I felt moved. Looking at it, I saw that the monstrance is the just like our hearts: it remains to be hollow, meaningless and purposeless until the presence of Jesus is there. Just like us, we remain to be empty within us until we accept Christ in our hearts for He alone can satisfy our hunger, and fill the space that longs to be filled. When we recognize Jesus as our God and Savior, that’s the time that we become whole for He is the sole one who can bring us completeness. Until then, we are lost souls, trying everything that we thought that can bring us joy. But in reality, they still leave us restless as there is a void that yearns for the real thing. Jesus offers to us His very self and asks us to partake in the meal that He prepares for us. Do we respond to the invitation?
The crowd in the Gospel was searching for Jesus who fed them. Now, we are still being fed spiritually by Him through His Word and His Body especially when we celebrate the Eucharist..